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Safety on Walks Safety on Walks

Ramblers Safety Advice

Please check for programme changes before setting out.
Foul weather, road closures and other incidents might require last minute adjustments or cancellations.


Please complete risk assessments.
Optional: Mail to the programme manager.
View: Saved Assessments

Leaders should ...

Everyone / anyone should ...



Extreme heat, cold,
rain, snow, ice,
wind, sun
Check the forecast.
Consider cancellation if there are weather warnings.
Advise walkers to carry suitable protective clothing, footwear and supplies.
Know the route to seek shelter if necessary.
Roads Railways
Traffic Warn the group about any road or rail hazards.
Use pavements and verges if available.
Select safer places to cross.
Walk in single file.
Before crossing, make sure your exit is clear of people.
Keep left but consider crossing the road at bends to help drivers see the group.
Keep left but consider crossing the road if there is a wide verge.
High-vis jackets are recommended for the leader and back marker.
Ice, mud, floods,
slopes, roots, branches,
holes, brambles, vines,
gates, stiles, steps
Warn the group about terrain hazards.
Advise on suitable footwear.
Divert to avoid the worst hazards.
Coast and Rivers
Tides, cliffs,
creeks, storms
Warn the group about coastal hazards.
Check the state of the tide.
Keep away from cliff edges.
Under cliffs, keep well clear of the cliff fall zone.
Check for erosion and potential creek wades.
Horses, cows,
sheep, deer,
ticks, gates
Warn the group about livestock hazards.
Near livestock, group together and proceed quietly and steadily.
Carry a tick card. Remove ticks ASAP. Seek medical advice if you get symptoms.
Divert to avoid the worst hazards.
Leave gates as you found them.
Medical Emergency
Cuts, grazes, blisters,
sprains, breaks,
serious medical problem
Everyone should carry basic first aid for routine trivial injuries.
For more serious incidents, if in doubt dial 999.
Ask the group if anyone is medically or first aid trained.
Administer first aid as best as possible.
Send group members to the nearest road or junction to flag down emergency services.
Locate the ICE card ready for emergency services.
If it's safe to move the injured person, devise a plan to get them to safety.
Consider splitting the group.
There are phone apps for locating your nearest postcode and what-three-words location.
Pre-register your phone with the 999 service.
The Red Cross and St. John Ambulance have useful phone apps with first aid guidance.
Try texting if you can't get a signal.
Send group members to a better reception area if necessary.
Consider signing up for a first aid course - a useful life skill.
On the Walk
Lost walkers,
low blood sugar,
comfort breaks,
leaving the walk,
breaks, picnics
Leaders should keep the back marker in sight.
Pause to regroup as often as necessary.
Don't block exits off roads, railways, at gates or at stiles while regrouping.
Mid-walk announcements: regroup and make sure the back marker can hear.
Leaders should keep their phone charged and switched on so lost or delayed walkers can call.
Middle markers: Everyone should keep the walker behind in view to minimise lost walkers.
Dehydration: carry water.
Low blood sugar: carry snacks.
If you need a comfort break, to avoid getting lost, tell the back marker.
If you need to leave the walk, to avoid search parties, tell the leader or back marker.
Breaks: Seek sun, shade or shelter. Bonus if there are wild blackberries or plums.
Am I Fit Enough
Walking Pace Fitness: Please check your fitness level.
National Emergencies
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